Selecting an Auto Body Repair Shop

Due to the amount of time we spend on the road the chances of us needed to find a great auto body shop may come up more than once. Most of us get a little flustered at the thought of searching for the right place that can work in your price range. No one ever knows where to start though. Here are a few tips on choosing the perfect auto body shop for you.

The first step is finding an auto body shop that will fix your car to look like the collision never happened. Some good auto body shops will only have the ability to fix your car to a point called pre-loss condition. Pre-loss condition is when the mechanic fixes your cars appearance, body structure, and keeps your cars mechanical reliability.

Next comes customer service, our favorites. Everyone has horror stories about bad customer service in numerous places of business. However, if you are calling an auto body shop that means that lives were once in danger so they should immediately ask if anyone was injured. Their chance at making money should never overshadow your needs or concerns. Many body shops are only in the business because they know that everyone will need to have their car repaired at some point. Most of those businesses do not have a skilled and knowledgeable staff. That is why it is so vital to find the right body shop so you and your insurance company are getting what you have paid for.

When dealing with your insurance company, make sure that you fight for the right to pick your own repair shop. Most insurance companies and repair shops have a deal worked out to lower the shops cost in exchange for giving them business. The shop then cuts corners and leave out steps to keep the cost down. This in turn means you are paying the insurance company the inflated premiums and your deductible but are only receiving second rate repair. The insurance company may respond saying that they can not guarantee the work of other shops but in reality all good shops guarantee their work for as long as you own that car. If a shop says that they do not have that standard, it is a sign to keep looking.

Always ask the person who is estimating your damage questions. If you are working with a smaller shop the person you are speaking with will probably be the one working directly on your car. In larger chain shops they have sales people who do the estimates and have no direct connection or knowledge about your car. The techs working on your car may not want to rewrite you an estimate to make it the correct amount. Never be afraid to ask questions if you are confused. Larger shops may have fancy equipment and tools to make people believe that they are much more advanced then other shops but in reality, those fancy tools are rarely even used in fixing your car.

Always ask the body shop about their insurance programs or DRP (direct repair programs) because this may mean they can not create their own business and need the help of a deal. Not all shops that have these programs are bad shops but it can defiantly be a red flag.

The very best way to find a good body shop is by word of mouth, so ask around. Most people would never send you to a place where they were not satisfied with the work they were given.

Now when you are stuck in a bind after a collision you will have the right information and questions to ask before selection the body shop for you. The last and the most important thing to remember is, if you ever feel uncomfortable or pressured by a body shop, move on because they may be desperate for business because they are not known for their good service.

Car Insurance Companies for You

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to car insurance. Whether you are looking for a new policy or you are looking to completely switch companies, it is important to know all about the companies that you will be looking at. This article will take a look at some of the companies that provide you with coverage. By understanding the company you will be able to find a policy that best suits your needs.As they say in their slogan, Nationwide is on your side. Founded over 80 years ago, Nationwide grew from a small company to one of the largest insurance and financial services.S Farm insurance was founded in 1922 by G.J. Mecherle. He thought that it was unfair that the local farmers had to pay the same rates as people that were living in Chicago. Today, S Farm serves over 80 million policies in the United States and Canada. Since S Farm was formed as a mutual company, it is not publicly traded and there are no stockholders that must be considered in decisions.Allstate insurance was founded in 1931 along with Sears, Roebuck and Co. Allstate is currently the second largest insurer behind S Farm. They currently sponsor many sporting events, including the Allstate Sugar Bowl and is part of the United States Olympic Committee.Progressive began their company by wanting to be innovators in their company. They were the first insurance company to allow their customers to pay for their premiums in installments instead in one annual payment. They were also the first to offer drive in claim services to their customers. Joseph Lewis and Jack Green were two lawyers starting out in 1937 that thought that Progressive would be a great investment.In 1936 Geico was formed by Leo Godwin and his life in order to provide auto insurance directly to federal government employees and their families. His idea branched off of USAA which he had worked for at the time. Geico generally deals with consumers through the internet and over the phone. They believe that it frees up money for them by not having insurance agents in the field.Those these are not all of the insurance companies that are available to consumers these are some companies that will get you started. If any of these companies sound like they would be the type of company that you want to represent you, you can research their car insurance quotes and find the best rates for you.

How to Start on the New You – Three Easy Fitness Tips

Before you get started on your journey to the new you, here’s a list of 3 things you should do first.

1. Make sure you have the right athletic shoes.

Are you flat footed? Not sure? What kind of surface are you running on?….. Asphalt road? Rubber track? Dirt trail? How much do you weigh? What gender are you? Do you wear orthotics? Might you need orthotics? How should you lace your shoes? Did you know there are multiple ways to lace your shoes in order to make them more comfortable? These are important factors to think about when choosing a shoe.

2. Determine your THR (training heart rate) Zone.

Many people know that it is important to record and track sets, reps, and weight to ensure progress during a weight training program. Yet many of those same people don’t bother to pay attention to their heart rate during an endurance training program. Think of the THR Zone as sets & reps for your heart while it’s engaged in an endurance training program.

Before you start plugging in numbers, let’s go over a few basics. First, we want to customize the THR Zone to your fitness level. To do so, you’ll first want to determine your resting heart rate. The more fit you are the lower your resting heart rate will be and vice versa. This is why it’s important to factor your resting HR into your THR Zone calculation. The calculator will still calculate a THR Zone without this number but it’s best WITH resting HR factored in. To determine your resting heart rate you ideally want to count your pulse for 30 seconds upon waking in the mornings. Take that number and multiply it by 2 and that’s your resting heart rate. Check it a couple days in a row upon waking to make sure it’s consistent. Remember that exercise, caffeine, stress, sleep, and medication can affect your resting pulse, this is why you want to check it upon waking after a good night’s rest.

Then we want to calculate 3 Training Zones. Warm-up/Cool Down Zone, Aerobic Zone, & Interval Zone.

For the Warm-Up/Cool Down Zone enter 45% in the Heart Rate A box in the left column of the Training Zone Calculator and 65% in the Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a THR Zone for warming up and cooling down. In terms of the warm-up, this should make up the first 5 to 10 minutes of your workout and you should break your first bead of sweat during this time. In terms of the cool down, you should repeat this process for 5 to 10 minutes at the end of the workout. However, instead of breaking a sweat, your goal during the cool-down is to commence the recovery process. The cool-down will allow you to get your hear rate to come down gradually instead of just letting it “crash” by abruptly stopping your workout.

Aerobic Zone: Enter 65% in Heart Rate A box and 85% in Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a THR Zone for working on endurance and burning calories. The bulk of your workout may fall in this zone (20 to 40 min). As your fitness level improves you may try to spend more of your time at the top end of this zone.

Interval Zone: Enter 85% in Heart Rate A box and 100% in Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a HR Zone for working on high intensity activities/intervals of short duration (10 to 120 sec).

Many of you know that I advocate interval training. Once you’ve calculated your zones, you can do some cool things with these numbers to truly customize your workout. Here’s one example:

Let’s say you are lifting weights and you’re doing supersets (this is just one type of interval training). You can use your heart rate to determine how much rest you should take between sets. Instead of coming up with an arbitrary unit of time and then staring at the clock between supersets, you can use your THR Zone to allow your fitness level to dictate your rest period.

First, do your superset. If it’s intense enough, it will raise your HR up into your interval zone (if not, you can increase the intensity by increasing weight and/or reps and by adjusting your tempo). Once your superset is done you will rest until your HR falls down into your warm-up/cool down zone. Then start your next superset.

As your fitness improves, a couple of things will happen. First, you will need to increase the intensity of your supersets just to get your HR up into the interval zone again. Second, as your fitness increases, your HR will drop back down into the warm-up/cool down zone faster thus naturally shortening your rest period. This is a very effective way of tailoring your workouts to your fitness level and it can make a huge difference in your results.

Click here for the THR Calculator

3. Give yourself a fighting chance

When you feel pressed for time, convenient and efficient workouts are of utmost importance. Wouldn’t it be great if you could squeeze in an effective workout in the comfort of your own home? You can build yourself a home gym without a single hammer or nail and do it on a shoe-string budget. You can get a very effective workout with light kettlebells, dumbells, medicine balls, stability balls, resistance bands, etc….

I wish you and yours all the best.

Till next time… Train Like You Play, Play Like You Train.